Chicken Nuggets
September 10, 2004 1:03 PM   Subscribe

What’s in McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets?

The McDonald’s nutrition information site has the following information on 4-piece Chicken McNuggets:

Serving size: 64 grams

Total fat: 10 grams
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Protein: 10 grams
Other listed components: 0.5 grams

This only accounts for 30.5 grams out of 64. What makes up the other 33.5 grams?
posted by grateful to Food & Drink (26 answers total)
I don't McKnow.
posted by jonmc at 1:04 PM on September 10, 2004 [2 favorites]

lips and assholes.
posted by jpoulos at 1:11 PM on September 10, 2004 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I imagine a fair amount of the mass of that "chicken" is plain old water.
posted by xil at 1:12 PM on September 10, 2004

Now you know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa.
posted by rocketman at 1:12 PM on September 10, 2004 [1 favorite]

parts of the chicken you wouldn't feed your worst enemy
posted by bshort at 1:12 PM on September 10, 2004

Seriously, though. It's probably water.
posted by jpoulos at 1:13 PM on September 10, 2004

Don't know if they're the same the world over, but the UK site has a full list. They say they only use the breast of the chicken now.
posted by ascullion at 1:13 PM on September 10, 2004

Response by poster: Hoffa is mostly protein and fat.
posted by grateful at 1:13 PM on September 10, 2004

Whoops, direct link here
posted by ascullion at 1:14 PM on September 10, 2004

Response by poster: The underlying question, of course, is why don't the ingredients listed on the Nutrition Facts labels (in the US) account for the entire weight of the food? What else is there?
posted by grateful at 1:17 PM on September 10, 2004

Best answer: The nutrition facts labels show all of the things that nourish your body. I don't think they count water.
posted by Coffeemate at 1:23 PM on September 10, 2004

the uk version is no better. if you look at page 10 and magnify the table, you can make out: 13.4% protein, 7.4% carbs, 12.5% fat, 0.9% fibre, 0.61% salt. that leaves about 2/3 of the weight unaccounted for.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:28 PM on September 10, 2004

oh, i see. they also list the ingredients separately. they only give a percentage for chicken (53%), but the next ingredient (presumably they're sorted by amount) is water.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:29 PM on September 10, 2004

They are sorted by amount, that's the law over here
posted by ascullion at 1:32 PM on September 10, 2004

It doesn't have to be *added* water. Chicken itself, like most (all?) meat is mostly water. To compare a gram of chicken to a gram of protein is to compare apples and to speak.
posted by jpoulos at 1:42 PM on September 10, 2004

pure evil
posted by bshort at 2:01 PM on September 10, 2004

Britain's had a few chicken scandals, regarding the injection of modified beef, pork, or other proteins into their chickens to "bulk them up" cheaply. It sounded pretty disgusting all around.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:21 PM on September 10, 2004

Chicken McNuggets are made from the chicken's nuggets, of course.
posted by skylar at 2:53 PM on September 10, 2004

"the secret meat process is... meat?"

mmm, McHoffas, gristly goodness
posted by ethylene at 2:53 PM on September 10, 2004

Parts is parts.
posted by spilon at 3:38 PM on September 10, 2004

posted by reklaw at 4:21 PM on September 10, 2004

here's an interesting article from the guardian about chicken nuggets
posted by carfilhiot at 4:28 PM on September 10, 2004

Best answer: Canada is better

White Meat Chicken McNuggets (4)


Chicken meat, water, modified corn starch, salt, chicken broth powder (chicken broth, salt and natural chicken flavouring), seasoning [(vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola), extracts of rosemary, mono,di and triglycerides (from sunflower oil) and soy lecithin)]. Breaded with: water, wheat flour, yellow corn flour, modified corn starch, salt, baking powder, spices (white and black pepper, celery seed), wheat starch, whey powder, sodium aluminum phosphate, corn starch, partially hydrogenated soybean oil (manufacturing aid) and cooked in 100% vegetable shortening [Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (corn and/or soybean and/or canola oil), cottonseed oil, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, monogylceride citrate and propyl gallate added to protect flavour, propylene glycol.]


If you bring up the item in question on this page, BTW, you get the follow details:

75g (x4 = 300 g)
Calories: 210
Fat: 13g
Fat DV: 20%
Saturated fat: 3g
Trans fat: 3g
(Not listed, but the extra fat would be non-saturated non-transfat, 7g)
Saturated fat + Trans Fat DV: 30%
Cholesterol: 30mg
Sodium: 440mg
Sodium DV: 18%
Carbohydrates: 13g
Carbohydrates DV: 4%
Fibre: 0g
Fibre DV: 0%
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 11g
Vitamin A DV: 0%
Vitamin C DV: 0%
Calcium DV: 0%
Iron DV: 8%

Adding, we get:

13 + .03 + .440 + 13 + 11 = 37.47g of non-water nutritional content. The rest would be the preservatives mentioned above and water. Lots of water considering McNuggets would be tested frozen. Up to 43% in that article, which would account for 32.25g of water (leaving 5.28 g of non-nutritional ingredients).

IIRC, in Canada, ingredients compromising less than 1/10th of 1% don't have to be listed unless they cause allergic reaction. But I could be wrong.

BTW: If you like hot dogs (not sure if you all do), STFU on how terrible what goes into a Chicken McNugget is. You like hog anus? YUM YUM!

A chicken McNugget could not be all skin (the article breifly mentions it's 15%, hoping people will read around it and get freaked out instead). The Guardian is likely pushing the same cow's eyeball type scare a lot of newspapers like to suggest about the scare of the month.

Besides, are you seriously grossed out by chicken skin? WHY THE HELL ARE YOU EATING MCNUGGETS THEN? They're just poor substitutes for KFCs SKIN-ON fried chicken. Sheesh. :-)

BTW: If that story grosses you out, you don't want to know what they spread on your organic non-GM vegetables before you eat them. UGGGGGH. Makes chicken skin look like God's gift to mankind.
posted by shepd at 4:52 PM on September 10, 2004

I just watched "Super Size Me" and in it you briefly see printed the exact ingredients of the nuggets, as described by McD in the lawsuit against them.
posted by mr.marx at 6:27 PM on September 10, 2004

Propyl gallate? "gallo" means "chicken" in Spanish - is propyl gallate really "propylated chicken"??
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:16 AM on September 11, 2004

Propyl gallate:

(a) Propyl gallate is the n-propylester of 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid (C10H12O5). Natural occurrence of
propyl gallate has not been reported. It is commercially prepared by esterification of gallic acid with propyl alcohol followed by distillation to remove excess alcohol.

(c) The ingredient is used as an antioxidant as defined in
Sec. 170.3(o)(3) of this chapter.

(d) The ingredient is used in food at levels not to exceed good manufacturing practice in accordance with
Sec. 184.1(b)(1). Good manufacturing practice results in a maximum total content of antioxidants of 0.02 percent of the fat or oil content, including the essential (volatile) oil content, of the food.

I'm guessing that trihydroxybenzoic acid isn't a naturally occuring chicken part. :-D
posted by shepd at 2:10 PM on September 11, 2004

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